8 Ideas for Repurposing Wine Bottles

By Angela Tague in Thinking Sustainably

If you're like me, you've been known to enjoy a glass of vino every now and then with friends. I also have a habit of changing up the decor in my home with each season. So, why not blend the two activities by repurposing wine bottles into trendy, eco-conscious, functional pieces?

Wine bottle crafts allow you to channel your creativity and make your recycling tote a little lighter. Plus, the activities can double as bonding moments with the kids, especially if they enjoy hands-on projects.

A Few Facts About Recycling Glass

If you don't have time to give your bottles a new purpose, or if you have other glass containers lingering in the kitchen, know that they are 100 percent recyclable, and the glass doesn't lose quality or purity in the process, according to the Glass Packaging Institute.

Here are a few more fun facts about recycling glass:

  • Recycled glass (known as cullet) can be used for 95 percent of raw materials when creating new glass products. The more recycled glass is used in processing, the less energy is needed to fuel the furnace.
  • Glass recycling centers sort glass by color before melting. To make your local pick-up team's job easier, you can do this when you bring your recyclables curbside. This can be a good task for little ones learning their colors, too.
  • The most commonly recycled glass containers are beer and soft drink bottles, followed by wine and liquor bottles, then food jars.
  • For every ton of glass recycled, over a ton of natural resources are saved.

glass recycling container

Prepping Your Wine Bottles

After the last drop has been poured, give your wine bottle a rinse. Then decide if you want to upcycle it with the label intact, partially peeled away (for a rustic appearance), or fully removed.

If you choose to go with a clean, clear bottle, I've found the best way to loosen the sticky label is by soaking it in warm soapy water in the kitchen sink for about an hour. Then, use a kitchen scrubbing brush to remove the moistened paper. Give the bottle one final wash, then dry it.

Ideas for Upcycling Wine Bottles

Next time you have a few bottles left over from a dinner party, a holiday gathering, or a night with friends, get a little crafty with the family and turn the glass into one of these wine bottle creations. And don't worry—they require no special glass cutting tools!

1. Painted Room Decor

Do you need a pop of color on a bookshelf or table? Brush acrylics on a dry wine bottle. Or, use partial cans of paint that are lingering in the garage or basement from your last remodeling project. You can opt for single-color creations, or try your hand at a pattern using freehand skills or stencils.

2. Classy Condiment Holder

Do you use cooking oils or flavored vinegars often in the kitchen? Insert a speed pourer or an oil and vinegar bottle topper into the opening of the bottle—and that's it! Your everyday cooking oil is now also a beautiful, usable kitchen decoration. This is also a clever way to display and serve homemade vinaigrette salad dressing at dinner parties.

3. Soft-lighting Luminary

During the holidays, stock up on strings of battery-operated lights. Whether you choose white or colorful strands, you can tuck them into a wine bottle to create a glowing accent piece for a coffee table or dining room centerpiece. These look beautiful clustered with candles or seasonal decor, too.

4. Elevated Candle Holder

If you love tapered candles but don't have holders, slip them into the openings of wine bottles. As the candles burn, the wax will drip down the exterior of the bottle, creating an antique, old-world appearance. Each time you replace the candles, opt for a new color to create a pretty layering effect in the wax drippings.

5. Simple Flower Vase

Repurposing wine bottles as vases with just a handful of autumn wild grasses or fresh-picked spring blooms looks sleek and simple. You can tie a bow of raffia ribbon around the bottle to add country charm, or glue a wide band of ribbon around the neck or base to add extra color and texture.

wine bottle as a vase for fall leaves

6. Glittery Snow Globe

Think of the shimmery snow globes you admire at the holidays. Just add glitter, a few drops of food coloring, foil embellishments (found in the scrapbooking aisle of your hobby store), and water to a wine bottle, then top it with a cork to make a beautiful, shakeable, bottle-shaped snow globe.

7. Reusable Water Bottle

A gal I see occasionally at my local yoga studio upcycles an old wine bottle to reduce her usage of portable plastic water bottles. She even crocheted a holder for the bottle, so she can easily carry her eco-friendly water container like a crossbody canteen. Can you repurpose wine bottles to hold your favorite beverages? Maybe kombucha, juice, or homemade tea?

8. Craft Supplies Storage

If you work with small craft items, like beads and glitter, use old wine bottles to sort and display your supplies by color and style. When it's time to work on a project, simply pour out the amount of supplies you need and get creative!

With a little outside-the-box thinking, you can find lots of fun ways to give new life to many of your recyclables around your home. Check out the DIY Naturally board from @tomsofmaine on Pinterest for more sustainable craft ideas!

Image Source: Angela Tague

The views and opinions expressed in any guest post featured on our site are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of Tom's of Maine.

Why It's Good

In a few minutes, you can transform everyday recyclables into creative decor for your home. Not only are you reducing the workload for the recycling center staff and helping their equipment last longer, you're showing your family how to find value in things that otherwise would have been discarded. Now, that's sustainable living!